Thursday, September 25, 2008

Time for another ramble

I admit it has been quite a while since my last update, but believe me, you aren't missing much.

So what has happened me poker wise since my last brief update? Not much really. I returned from Vegas with less money than I went (not a huge amount in the scheme of things however), ran well after I came back for a couple of weeks, then started losing. I think I have only played 3 times in the last 6 weeks, I haven't played online in several months, and I have not been enjoying the game lately.

I know I have had some fatalistic updates on this wristslitfest of a blog, but I have not enjoyed poker in the last 3-4 months in all fairness, probably starting before I went to Vegas at all. I have noticeably been playing terribly and making terrible decisions borne out of some ill conceived notion that I conconcted from nowhere at the time to justify my decision to myself. It has at times felt like I was literally burning money, especially in Omaha cash games where I have made some ridiculously stupid moves lately.

It is hard to admit at times, but I am playing such a weak tight game lately that it depresses me. Knowing this is probably the first step to addressing it, but knowing it is also the easy part. Fixing it is the difficult bit. I know people go through phases like this all the time, but it is the first time in a long time that I have not wanted to play much at all, and the last 6 weeks are easily the least poker I have played in the last 4 1/2 years.

It is with all this in mind that I have decided not to go to Killarney to play in the event that I have been looking forward to for ages. I think it will be a great weekend with loads of good people there, so a good time in that respect will be nearly guaranteed. However, I think it would be a guaranteed loss of money so I cannot justify it in my current humour with the game, especially if it were to turn out like my experience in Tramore when I got frustrated with my play that I left a day early with a hotel room paid for and all. Killarney is just too far to do that. I really do wish I was going, but I don't hate money that much.

I will also not be playing the IPO, but this is for a different reason as I have a stag to attend that weekend in Galway. I would have played this otherwise but not to be.

I have not tried to qualify for the Winter Festival in Citywest on the bank holiday weekend yet and I really should as I would love to play that and I am certainly not forking out entry money for that as it is way above my budget but it should be an excellent event as well. I think I will try to go back to basics somewhat in poker terms and play some more tournaments and cut back on the cash games somewhat. Who knows though, a couple of decent nights and this will all be forgotten I guess.

On other fronts, I have just returned from a 2 week break in the states, with a week of it spent in Florida. This included 2 nights spent in Key West which was surreal due to the number of bikers in the place. It was Bikers Week there, and there must have been 2 thousand of them, mostly on Harleys, quite a few with their 'bitches', and the average age being close to 50 I would guess, no joke. The women with them were often quite scary (although there were a few exceptions of course) with scantily clad, leathery skinned, pot bellied, 50 year old women being typical fare there. I still have some mental scars. Other memorable parts of the trip included a visit to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, home of the best beach in the US 2007, and a trip to Busch Gardens for some high octane rollercaoster action. Relaxation was probably the key point of this trip and I am deighted to report that this objective was achieved in full, and considering the content of the first few articles in this entry, it couldn't have come at a better time.

That's me for now. I shall be back some time between tomorrow and the end of the year for another update I'm sure.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quick update

Don't have time now to post a proper update, but needless to say I finished about 62nd in a 565 runner event wit47k for first. That is my only tourney so far. Cash going great though. AA cracked, KK into AA. Sets cracked etc etc. So far so standard etc. I plan to do more drinking from now on though. :)

Ran into a few lads so far out here, trying to stay outof the sun etc etc as I hear it is bad for a pale mofo like me. Was going to play the 540 Omaha in the Venetian today, but stayed in be to watch the ftball instead (11.45 am kickoff).

I'll probably post news of my second level bustout in th next tourney I play sometime soon.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Leaving on a jetplane....

In 36 hours I should be on the plane on the way to LA from where it is a short hop to vegas. Bad time then to be sick of poker, but as of last weekend that is officially where I stood.

On consecutive weekends I played in €500 buy in tournies. First was the Fitz 500 that attracted 65 runners. I was a fairly early casualty from this having done ok at the start, then lost over half my stack when the action went like this:

UTG limp for 150, folded to me I raise to 600 with AKo, next to act flat calls, then UTG goes all in for 3200. I check out the stack of the other guy and see he has just over 6k, so I raise enough to put him all in and hew instantly calls with AJs!!!! UTG shorty had TT, and the board came a spiffing QJ5JQ to see the fella to my left scoop with his AJ which was worth 40+ BB's preflop against someone who had raised twice. Way to go. After that I was struggling and eventually lost a race with AK vs 99. Ah well.

Then last weekend I was in Tramore for the Big Slick 500 game which had 142 runners. I never really got going in this tbh, and a couple of ill timed plays seen me knocked out just at the end of the first days play. I played the side event the next day and bluffed off a few chips in the first round, before getting KK all in preflop vs AA. Goodnight, and only 20 mins in.

Cash games are going just as bad for me to be honest. I knew something like this run would happen at some point after my decent start to the year, but to happen just before Vegas isn't the best of timing. I haven't played since last Sunday night which for me is a huge stretch to not play for, and I won't play til I get to Vegas.

I am looking forward to it though, even if only because I won't be in work for 2 weeks. I remember thinking last year that I wouldn't go back to Vegas this year, but my weakness shone through in the end and hopefully I won't feel the same at the end of this trip. I am bringing just under $6k with me, and I would be annoyed if that doesn't last me my trip. Ideally of course I want to come back in profit, and that will be my goal of course, but I will take things as they come. If it starts badly I might have to reassess some of the plans for tournies that I had and just stick to the cash games which judging by the standard last year should be a source of some profit at least.

I will be bringing my laptop with me, so I may update this during my trip if anything interesting happens. I'm sure my avid readers will be pressing refresh every 5 seconds in anticipation of that one!!!!

Vegas will be a trip of cards and nights out, but like last year I don't intend to mix the two or go mad before I play any tournies.

It's good to see some of the Irish lads out there get a bit of success early on with Gavin Kelly having cashed in a WSOP event and chopped a Venetian event, and John O'Shea having finished 5th in a WSOP event for almost $100k. I don't know the lads very well (talked to Gavin once last year in Vegas, and John a couple of times in the Fitz), but all the same it is nice to see local lads doing well. Also, a mention to honourary Paddy, Lawrence Cowsar who came close in the $1500 PLO event, coming 20th when a big score was so close. Pair the board dammit!!!!!

OK, that's it from me for now, hopefully I will come back from Vegas in one piece to update this again.......

Monday, May 12, 2008

50th Post

I noticed as I was starting this, that I had 49 previous posts. Not that I am going to do a review of the last 25 months of my blog or anything, that would be just pointless.

I am getting suspicious of this poker lark now tbh. Something terrible is waiting around the corner for me. don't get me wrong, I still have losing nights, such as last night when I did 700 in the 2/5 Omaha in the Fitz. It wasn't that mad a game really, I've played madder 1/2 games tbh, but still didn't get the luck I needed in the game. Was up 400 at one stage, then got 3 outered for a 750+ pot and it kept going down from there.

However, that is a relatively rare blackspot the last while. I split the Fitz EOM for 3k, got 2k from the cash league in the Fitz, won a ticket for the 500 tourney in June, and had my biggest ever nightly cash win last Saturday night (1800). I played several of the events at JP's festival on the bank holiday weekend as well with absolutely no success. There was the usual mixed standard in both players and dealers (some of whom made me want to scream at them), but overall it was a very well run festival from what I saw and I am delighted that there were decent numbers in (most) events, as JP/Christine are lovely people from my experiences.

What is coming up for me? WEll in the next couple of months I have a few things in particular that I hope prove fruitful.

1. Fitz 500 on June 7th. Won a ticket for this. Probably not a huge number of runners, but I would hope for a good showing in this.
2. Waterford Festival, June 13-15. Playing the main event in this (550) in Tramore, and I believe there will be approx 200 entries in this, so a nice touch would prove very fruitful. Again, the standard will quite likely be very mixed, but I am looking forward to this as I hear Neill Kelly runs a good show although I have never played one of his events before.
3. Vegas, 21/6 - 5/7. Looking forward to this. Flying Dub - LA - Vegas and reverse on the way back. This is the same route I went last year and it was grand. I'm looking forward to this now, as I haven't had a real break from work (except Christmas which is stressful enough anyways) since Vegas last year, so I need some time off. I haven't even had a sick day in 16 months. I'm not 100% what I am going to play over there, but I intend to be a bit more adventurous than last year.

Last year in Vegas I was running and playing terribly coming up to it for a few months, as opposed to when I booked it. This year it is the other way around. When I booked it I was starting to run and play well, but coming off a long downswing. It has sustained itself since and by my standards have made a very healthy profit so far this year. Unless I get some large stroke of fortune and win something like the Waterford Open etc, I am never going to have a stellar year, but if the yearly average win out at current trends then I will be extremely happy with my lot in poker. That is getting a bit carried away though at this point. There are lots of potential positives, but plenty of possible pitfalls as well.

Ok, for the laugh, here is an ultra quick review of my 4 and a bit poker playing years so far.

Year 1 - Learning. Didn't keep any records. Almost certainly lost, not that much though as I was very careful about it.
Year 2 - Started keeping records halfway into this year. I think I broke even on the year. My records show profit, but I know I lost in the months before. Stakes starting to get bigger.
Year 3 - I thought this was my breakthrough year. 5 figure profit, first big tourney, first TV appearance. Things can only get better surely.
Year 4 - *BANG, *CRASH*, *WALLOP*, *KABLAMMO*. Batman didn't take as much of a hammering as my confidence, ego and results took. Not a disastrous year financially, but nearly every month was a losing one. Wiped out previous years profit. What happened? Did manage to play in the Irish Open though which was a goal of mine.
Year 5 - So far so good. Cash in the Irish Open, final tabled 50% of the tournies I have played, won or split 25% of them so far including sats for tickets. Slightly down in cash, but not that much. Regained all my previous years losses and some more on top. So far.

That is me for now.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Random Post

I have feck all specific to write about, so I'll just see where this goes.

I hate work.

Not much has happened me pokerwise in the last while so not much point talking about it really.

I hate work.

I booked my flights to Vegas for the summer last week though. I think the pain of sitting here in work drove me to do it as otherwise I would have no holiday plans until September, with my last trip away being last July to Vegas as well. I'm fairly sure that last year I said iw ouldn't bother going this year unless I won a main event seat, but typically I did a full 360 turnaround, going over now, but not being there to play the main event even in the unlikely circumstances that I won a ticket. I doubt I will even play a satellite though, so that is an unlikely outcome.

I hate work.

Instead I plan on playing some smaller events in the Venetian, cash games, and possibly a $2k event in the WSOP, finances permitting, but that is certainly not a priority. Other things I plan on doing when there include Buying plenty of discounted stuff since it is just so cheap, and getting drunk several times. I was planning on pushing the boat out and staying in the Venetian for my trip, but then rethought it and I am now thinking more about staying somewhere like "Bills Gamblin' Hall and Saloon". The name alone is great. It is cheap, gets good reviews on trip advisor, and is damn central, being across the road from Ceasers and Ballys, and next door to the Flamingo.

I hate work.

The subtle them of this seems to be developing into the fact that I am not overenamoured by my job currently. The fact that I am consistent loser in my 8 entered draws per year in the lotto is not helping me gain an escape route, and I believe I am way too cynical towards all the bullshit and rubbish that goes on in these places to think that a change of job (but in the same area) would help me get my work mojo back, if indeed I was ever in possession of said mojo in the first place. The natural escape route for someone of my persuasion might be to see if I can make enough money playing online to escape, but even if I was able to I would be fairly reluctant to do more than take a 6-12 month career break to restore my sanity. However, the fact that I cannot motivate myself to play online to get a bankroll to play at stakes that would be meaningful enough to hurt/reward says that it is 100% fiction to think I will ever be an online 'pro'. For this to happen I would need a couple of years consistency at decent stakes with decent winnings, but that isn't likely.

I hate work.

Ideally I would be able to change career to something less soul destroying but there are a couple of holes in that theory such as (1) I don't want to take a drop in pay that would accompany a career change. (2) I don't want to retrain. (3) I can't think of anything that I would like to change to realistically. I think I may be stuck where I am.

I hate work.

On a different note, bug week in sport coming up now with the Champions league and the Heineken cup semi finals over the next week and a bit. Liverpool, Barcelona and Munster are the teams I will be actively cheering for, with obviously Liverpool being foremost among them. Hopefully they can see of Chelsea, but it will be far from easy. This year for some reason, there seems to be more expectation on Liverpool to actually beat Chelsea, whereas the last two times they played them in this competition Chelsea were healthy favourites. I really hope that Liverpool keep a clean sheet in the first leg. My ideal scenario involves 3 Chelsea red cards and a 5-0 win for Liverpool in the first leg, but I'm sure I'd be only too delighted with a 2-0 home win in the first leg and 1-1 away from home. I doubt it will be easy though and could go either way. Ok, I got interrupted here so lost my stream of whatever thought may have existing, although I'm not sure any coherent sentences were contained in this post at all.

Oh, I nearly forgot. I hate work.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Irish Open mostly

I decided to play the second start day at the Irish Open for a few reasons, none of which are really interesting enough to put in print, but that was indeed the day I started. We kicked off knowing there was a big overlay of around €200k, so that was a bit of a boost to start with. My start table was badly designed for me, with two of the most competent players at it directly to my left, including Derek Murray who amassed a big stack early through some nice presents. I also had Thomas Dunwoody, the guy who finished 3rd at my start table as well.

It started off quite well, and within 30 mins I had my 10k stack up to 11.5k, and would have been over 13k had my KJ on a flop of KKJ not lost to A6, and my AQ not lost to 9T (of Dunwoody) when I raised preflop, checked behind on a flop of J96 turned an A and bet it to get called, and checked behind on a river T. After that I was stuck near starting stack for an age. In the first level or two I got AQ about 4 times, JJ about 3 times and TT, 99 a couple of times as well, and I got AK once in this time. The last couple of hours at this table were very card dead, and then I got a bad beat by being moved to one of the later eating tables instead of the early eating tables - I was starved.

Our table got broke just before lunch as I mentioned above, with no real drama involving me, and my new table looked an altogether tougher proposition. I recognised a few faces at it, Namir from the Fitz, Paul Leckey, Runit Somiaya and Fran Egan was there as well. Not long afterwards, Julian Thew got moved there as well, as did Sylvester Geoghgan (sp?). I was extremeyl card dead here as well (a theme throughout) and I doubt I showed down more than a couple of checked BB or SB hands before my brief burst of action. I was staying just below average most of the time and in no real rush as blinds were still low. I raised with 88 on this occasion to 1900 (300/600/50), and the BB pushed for just under 6k. Getting just over 2/1, and sick of folding, I made a reluctant call and was shown QQ. No miracle and I was down to just over 8k. Next hand I make the same opening raise with 99 this time, and get reraised by Rumit Somiaya. At this point I am certainly not laying it down and it's either double up or bust, being in the last level of the day. I won a race against AQ and got back to average nearly.

Then I stole a few k in a battle of the blinds. On a 984 flop, holding 95 I bet out 1000 and got raised to 2600 (I think). I call. Turn comes an 8, and despite it being a fairly risky strategy, I think this is a good card for me so I bet 4k, knowing this guy is a reasonable player and shouldn't make a call without an 8 (or better), and I had 10k behind in case of a disaster push from him which I couldn't call. He folded saying he had J9, and I duly told him I had K9, so nh etc etc. I ended up the day within touching distance of average and was delighted with the end of days play as I had manufactured a reasonable stack from no cards and very little showdown poker, which I couldn't play as I had no cards to do so with. It was incredible how bad the cards were, and surely couldn't be that bad on day two I told myself.

So I thought!!!! My redraw had Glen McCabe (northern guy, good player) and Neil Channing (eventual winner) directly to my left. Also at the table was the well dressed Norwegian who was one of the chip leaders after day 1 with 90k. I started off patiently, bleeding blinds and then I stole a couple of blinds, careful never to go after the same blinds too often (this is something I am paranoid about as I know it irks me when it happens to me until I play back). I definitely did not want to get played back at with the cards I had. A couple of moves went wrong and suddenly I was down to 10000 ish with blinds at 500/100 and about to go up. I played a few hands differently, seeing flops out of position, and stop and going when uncoordinated flops came up, and also by stealing a bit more, and by the time this table broke 30 mins later, I was up to 30k without showing down a hand.

My new table was a lot more unfamiliar to me in terms of faces, but there were aggressive young American players either side of me. I was quite active at this table getting some reasonable raising hands in position, but between one thing and another lost 6k in the first 30 mins or so there when this happened. Early position raise to 4500 (800/1500/100). This guy had lost the last pot after being bluffed out of it, and he also wore a PPP qualifier shirt and seemed unfamiliar with a poker table. this combination, allied to the fact that we now had a similar number of chips, led me to push for 24kish with AQ from the SB. 24k was an awkward stack size there as I couldn't raise without committing more than half my stack, plus I would have been happy taking it there. Surpisingly though, after a think, he called with AJ and when no miracle happened I had doubled up to 51k (almost average again which was 53k). Happy days. A while later I am back to around 35k after a few misadventures, when the TD comes over and says next BB, moving to the TV table, and lo and behold, who should that be but myself.

After about a 15 minute delay for form filling, getting mic'ed up, and waiting til a break in play, I got to sit down. There were a few familiar faces there in Smurph, Padraig Parkinson and Conor Tait, and most of the table besides a short stack Smurph, had me covered. I get a raise with 88 UTG through, and then Padraig sweats me down after I reraise his raise from the button. He thinks for ages, asks how much I have left, counts out a raise, talks some more, then eventually folds. He had 72o I saw later. Tbh, although I wanted him to fold, it was hardly the most nerve wracking experience of my life - I am used to being given the big think at poker tables at this point. My defining point at this table though was when I called an all in for half my stack with AQ, only for Conor Tait to think and fold showing 99. The flop came A94 and would have killed me stone dead, but as it was I knocked out shortie with QT, so happy days. After this point things went wrong for me. Here is an update I put on boards at the time, which also includes some issues I had away from cards.

Oh god I'm drained. 16 hours of poker, and I have not seen AA, KK or QQ, and AK only once. I was down to 11k at one point, got it up to 30k without a showdown (would have been behind if called nearly every time). I am so card dead it is siiiick, but still in (just).

I got AQ a few times today (as you may have seen) and doubled up and knocked someone out with it. I was up to near 90k with the average at 65k or so, but the blinds were 2k/4k at that stage. I got a few raises snapped off and the blinds took their toll.

Lol, 13.5k left with blinds at 4/8/1k tomorrow. Two all in wins needed to be respectable. Turning into an awful crapshoot though. I have a couple of complaints. Firstly, we were playing 6 handed on the feature table for about 20 mins despite repeated requests for players, we were playing 7 handed most of the rest of the time, and I was there for over 2 hours (including nearly an hour after they stopped filming). Play was stopped several times, once for well over 5 mins, clock running all the time. On the bubble they were playing hand for hand on 9 tables, but the clock was still running. It took 20 mins for 2 hands to be played at one point when I think the clock should be stopped, and the blinds went up during this point. We were ready to go at 2k/4k (I was sb) with 3 mins left in the level, but didn't start until 3 mins into the next level when we had to put in the extra for the new level and ante.

This is the worst bit. At one point during this delay I stood up and moved about 3 feet from my table, no action at surrounding tables, all waiting. I was told by one of the staff (blonde woman with no sense of humour at all I learned a few times over the weekend) to sit in my seat or I would get a time penalty. I asked was she serious and she said "that's the rules".

All in all though, considering the cards I got, and the fact that I escaped the noose at the feature table when Conor Tate laid down 99, I am delighted. I am the shortest of the shortstacks left I'd imagine.Also, heard some of Ciaran O'Learys commentary. I won't comment any further.

I had made the money, and considering I was in for €205 in total including tip at the satellite, I was at least making a decent return on my money. At the end of play I was the shortest stack left, partially due to a brain freeze trying to move up the money ladder at that point (I was tired, etc etc), but I don't want to go into details really.

Day 3 lasted all of one hand when my J2 was no match for Surindar Sunar's AJ. Ah well, €6500 was better than a kick in the teeth, but I didn't want to only limp into the prize money. Sadly though, I didn't really get a spot with the rubbish I was getting dealt. In theory I could have won with rubbish at some point in a lucky double up, but no point thinking about that now. I never got a spot to put my money in good or push in a reasonable spot, so that is that.

Aside from the Irish Open, I played in the €500+50 game in the SE the day I got knocked out of the IO, but it was a bad idea. I didn't play terribly, but I certainly was not in the right frame of mind to play my best and it didn't go particularly well.

Cash games are going ok for me recently after a terrible start to the year in them, and I am nearly back to even for the year in them, so allied with a healty profit from tournies, this year is a hell of a lot rosier so far than last year was.

Online is kind of in a stopped state for me now, despite me getting my online bankroll to a new level (for me, but still severly underrolled for the games I play). If I do get a bit of conviction to do this and it keeps running as well as it has for the last 3k hands, then it wouldn't be long before I was rolled properly for it. Considering how much work depresses me, and how much I hate getting up early in the mornings (although most people consider my rising time as late), you would think I might put a bit more effort into online poker.

However, there is a large part of me that would not like to play online poker for a living either, despite the fact that I have in no way ever proved I would be able to. In theory it is a brilliant idea, but in reality I tihnk I might be unsuited to it, as I like live play far too much. Ideally what I would have loved was a bigger score in the IO and take 3 or 6 months off work to do some travel, and some relaxation and destress from work, but sadly I fell about 20k short of the target I needed to follow through on that.

I'll keep plugging away though I'm sure, there are always more opportunities around the corner.

That't my lot for now, good luck.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pre Irish Open Update

This is a quick gap update to fill in between my last update and my Irish Open tales. I haven't played that much relative to my normal schedule, truth be told, but it has been a quite profitable few weeks.

A couple of days after my last update I played in the Sporting Emporium €220 game, fresh from my ticket success in the same venue. There were 49 runners, and I got off to a great start with a couple of big hands that had me one of the chip leaders early on. After the first break though I stayed practically level for an age though after a card dead spell, and only when I got moved to balance the tables at 6 and 6 did things pick up for me. The pivotal pot probably was a bluff that I got through against an aggressive players, although he played this hand less aggressively that I expected upon hearing what he said his holding was afterwards.

I raise UTG, UTG+1 calls, all else folds. I have ATo. Flop is QJxr, and I lead out. Called instantly. Turn is a blank and I shove for a pot size bet. A big dwell up has me worried, but as he is counting his chips I am aware that a call would cripple him at this point if he lost. He eventually folded. I showed, he said he had KQ (didn't show) and tbh this surprised me that he folded, although as far as he was concerned, I had been playing quite tight throughout, so that probably coloured his decision somewhat.

A couple of hands later I get QQ and get it all in against Oz and his AK. My QQ holds up and I double up. then I knock Oz out a couple of hands later with QQ again against his Q7. Some rush and I was clear chip leader. The final table started and it was an interesting one with Liam Flood in fine flow. I never really lost any chips at the final table, and slowly amassed more. I must say though that I was certainly getting better than average cards whch at this point in the game is always a plus. I can't really be arsed to bore either myself or anyone else with more details, but eventually I split it with another guy for just under 3k each after the tip. I should really have played on since I am failry sure I would have won (as sure as you can be in poker really, which is not very) but for several reasons I didn't.

Cash games have been up and down again, but I seem to have stopped bleeding money, which is nice, and I even had one excellent night (1230 profit). My biggest hand that night was 6678ds, fiver preflop. Flcop comes 459 with 2 spades (I had spades). I just called a bet of 20 along with another player. Turn comes a magical 6. Bet of 75, fold, then I make it 300, called. River is a 4. Checked to me, and I shove for 375 more. Once he thinks for more than 2 seconds I know I am good and will him to call, which he does after about 3 minutes of thinking, and my house was good. Why don't pots like those come along more often? Usually I am the one on the other side it seems. Ah well. Things are ok at the moment, so I won't ruin it by complaining too much.

Anyways, the Irish Open started today, and I play on day 1B tomorrow. Numbers are certainly not as was hoped. Only 316 players turned up for day 1A, and 400 need to play tomorrow to exceed the guarantee, although I am sure they will as second days usually get bigger numbers. A second supersatellite has been announced for tonight as well, which is unusual and shows how desperate they really are to get the numbers in. I went out last night for a look, and the room looked very well, kind of like a 1/4 model of the WSOP room. I probably won't go out tonight again though, I might just prepare by playing some Omaha in the Fitz, we'll see. One way or another, I am looking forward to it, so I hope it isn't a huge anticlimax that ends with me getting shafted, or blinded out. Any other exit type and it will be fine. Either way I am nearly on a freeroll to it anyhow so I'm going to give it my best shot. I feel I am on a good run of form and confidence, so let's see how the luck holds in a big one.

I really hope local players I know and like do well in this, and if I don't win it (gotta be optimistic) then I hope some local does.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yay Me!!!!

OK, let's get the downbeat stuff out of the way first.

Since my last update I have lost every cash session and got raped in the process. How many 2 outers must a man endure in big pots? Also, I had the chip lead in the Fitz 125 FO but donked it away stupidly to finish 7th. This is the type of thing I have been trying to get rid of from my game. Losing chips on a bluff is one thing, but bad play that causes me to lose chips is another. I still managed another final table though although only 24 runners. Good tourney though.

On to the good news which I'm sure most of my few visitors are already aware of - I have won my ticket to the Irish Open in Citywest on Easter weekend. I went to the Sporting Emporium (and had the usual frustration trying to park remotely close to it, grrrr) where they had a €150+15 with 1 rebuy or topup for €150. I expected a good few runners to turn up, but in the end 130 had paid in to this with 112 of them either rebuying or topping up, to generate 8 tickets. A lot of work to get through it seemed.

The night started badly for me. I only recognised a few of my starting table, not that it mattered, with the chief to my right. I yoyoed a lot with my first lot of chips when I shoved for 2975 after a limper at 100/200 and a raise to 600. The limper instashipped for just less than I had, and the raiser called after a think. I had AKo, raiser has JJ, limp/shover had 5c3c. Genius. 3 on the flop, and 3 on the river sealed that deal. Made no difference to me as i was behind to JJ anyhow, but JJ man was not happy. Standard in general with one or 2 exceptions was terrible. Rebuy just before the break it is then!

After the break I got a nice donation when I raised with KQ suited, got called by one of the blinds. Flop K85r, check I bet 1k, call. Turn is a T, check, I go all in for my last 2k, he calls and tables J5o. WTF? No help for him and I double up. Then I get 55 UTG, make a bit of a mess of the hand I think, but I do one thing right when I make a call of an allin on the turn on a 7664 board with 55 which is good against KTo who had raised preflop and bet flop and turn. I am not particularly happy with my play in the hand, but I made the right call in the end anyhow. I lose a few chips before this happens........

Table breaks and I am moved to a table with a hyper aggressive guy and a few randomers and Vera. I got a near double up from hyper aggressive guy when I call one of his frequent preflop overraises, and check flop and turn hoping he will commit himself as I have enough of it to be confident I am well ahead a lot against him and know he won't resist a double check. He bets 4k on turn into a 7k pot, I go all in for 8k and he folds quickly. Not much drama for a while before the SB to my BB loses a few chips and has been quite active at the table. There is one limper for 1200 and SB shoves into my BB for just over 12k. The original limper has about 16k or so and is a poor player, and I have about 32k at this stage. I look down at ATo and think the SB's range here is big enough to justify getting involved. I call and the limper folds after a think (said he had J9). SB tables AK and it is an oops for me, but a T99xx board sees me get lucky. I still think it was a standard enough call really, but he did get unlucky.

I was not getting much cards to play with so any time I entered a pot and met with resistance or a reraise I generally lost chips on. I was dwindling from my comfortable position however and blinds were starting to bite. I'm not sure an awful lot of drama outside the standard happened me for quite a while, and real cards were a rarity. I was getting a lot of A rag hands, but almost always UTG or after a raise, so hard to play and I decided to bide my time. After a while it looked like my time had come when I got AsJs and shoved for 35k (3k/6k) but the BB looked at his cards and uttered 'Ah sure I guess I might as well' this made me fell that I was well ahead when he pushed for about 20k total, but was a bit puzzled and annoyed (by the fact that I was dominated) when he tabled AKo. Not to worry, a nice J on the turn came to the rescue, and I was beginning to see how easy this dogging thing actually was, no wonder so many other poeple are at it constantly!!!! Hard luck sir.

At this point we were down to about 12 or so and it was very nervy with 1 big stack on each table and the rest floating between medium and tiny. I was towards the smaller end of that scale sadly until the following happened when we were 5 handed (4k/8k). Pat Storan pushed for 60k, and I looked down at KK. As soon as I saw them I immediately thought, this is it, I am going to go out on a real hand, a bad beat story for my blog. Woe is me. After I had finished scorching the felt and waiting for Eshan to decide if he would put some of his multitude of chips into the pot blind, then deciding not to, I turned my KK over, to be greeted by AK. Every card kept appearing to be an A on the flop, turn and river, but thankfully, none of them were and I had doubled up to over 100k. Phew. I felt sorry for Pat to run into a cooler like that at such a critical time 2 away from the tickets, but delighted for myself for doubling up. Pat never got going again and went out a couple of hands later so we formed a final table of 9 with 1 unlucky soul going away with nothing and 8 happy punters.

It only lasted a couple of hands, and at 5.40am we were finally done and I had got my ticket at the 3rd time of asking

1st time - Spent €210, returns €180
2nd time - Spent €210, returns €500
3rd time - Spent €315, returns ticket

So if you include the €150 tip I left (I had to borrow cash for that even), I got my ticket for €205. Not too shabby. I won't be playing another one of those this year despite the fact that I have a good record in them, especially in the Emporium where I have qualified for 3 major tourneys from 4 (maybe 5) attempts.

I told Alex to submit me for day 1B as I probably would not be able to get the Thursday off work due to ongoing crap that bores me, so I am certainly not going to enlighten anyone else that doesn't need to know about it. I am looking forward to this now, and hoping for a few breaks along the way as I know that if a few things go my way I am capable of going deep in this. I am not really the 4 bet bluff soul reading type player that garners a lot of attention, but I have enough to my game, despite several shortcomings (including not being able to pull of the 4 bet bluff soul reading moves), to look forward to this with hope.

Now to win the Fitz end of month, CHL's end of month and the SE start of month in the next few days. Now that would be a story, and I'd love for you to be reading about it, but holding ones breath might involve a very long wait. I'm not greedy, winning one will do me :)

For now, adios.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Since my last post I have played 7 tournies. Nothing unusual there you might say, I am a poker player after all, but I will provide a brief synopsis for you on them. All of these were played in the Fitz

Tourney 1: €125 Freeze out.
Only 16 runners for this, the first running of this event. However I get an early double up when I raise KQs, and take a free turn card which hits my middle pin for the straight against a flopped set. From there on I was consistent but by the time I got to heads up I was outchipped by 5-1. However, there was still plenty of play left in this tourney, and 90 minuntes later I emerged victorous after a swinging battle which saw me draw level, then go 10-1 up, then go back to behind again, then finally win it. Very enjoyable.

Tourney 2: IO sat, €110, with 1 rebuy or topup.
29 runners in this, 1 ticket and some cash for next two, but eventually 3rd and 4th got 180 each instead of 360 for 3rd, just to get money back. I had an early rebuy in thhis, but then played a good game to get to a tough final table. The final 5 were myself, Denis Reyes, Ronan Ryan, Paul Cryan and Thomas "Bomber" Nolan. It was a very tough lineup aand I never really got to where I wanted to be with this and finished 4th. Ah well, mney back sort of.

Tourney 3: League final, freeroll.
This is a bit of a crapshoot with the structure in place, but I started with plenty of chips. Never got going really sadly and exited around 4 from the money for the second time in a row in this. Ah well.

Tourney 4: Monday Freezeout, €80.
35 runners or so, and a very enjoyable game. I got lucky once when I called a preflop raise with QJ from the button. It was checked to me on a flop of Kxx and I shoved. I was well goosed when called by KT, or so I though, but a T on the turn and an A on the river saw broadway materialise from nowhere. Then I cruised to the final table where I made a big/marginal/bad play 4 handed when I shoved all in after a raise and a smaller allin with AQ, and the original raiser shoved after a big think. I was up against KK and TT, and lost both pots to be down to 4k utg with blinds of 1500/3k. I doubled up and a bit more 3 times in 10 minutes, taking out another player in the process, so then we were 3 handed, and one of them was the guy I was headsup with in tourney 1 above, and he had a big chip lead, so some sort of deja vu developing. Sadly it didn't work out as I finally made a stand with AT and ran into the CL's JJ. gg, wp.

Tourney 5: Tuesday €55 DC.
65 runners in this and the usual poor standard. I received a few nice donations and was comfortable until I tangled with a very aggerssive Dutch player who was just to my right the entire tournament. He raised for the umpteenth time (to 8k) and I shoved over the top for 34k with AQ. He instacalled with KK, and oops. Maybe I should have played it differently, but I have seen him make big calls with less than premium hands, so maye it wasn't that bad a play. Hindsight is great it seems. I finished 12th in this when another FT seemed inevitable.

Tourney 6: IO sat, €110 with 1 rebuy or topup.
Same structure as the above one, but 37 runners for this with 1 ticket and 2k in cash spread 2nd - 4th. I played some good stuff in this tournament I thought, and there were some very aggressive players at my table all night so patience and picking spots paid off a few times, and I was comfortable in this all night pretty much with an excellent, almost too good for Thursday night, structure. Got to the final table of this again at 1.30 and there were a couple of good players, a couple of bad aggressive players, a couple of poor players, and one or 2 that I didn't know much about. There was a good bit of cagey play in this as there was still loads of play left. After a while though we were down to 4 again with one good, one bad, and one aggressively bad player left with me. the aggressive player eventually committed hari kari, and we were down to three. I was second in chips at this point, and a couple fo key ahnds happened against the bad shortstack. I get QQ in the small blind, and after the button folds I call only. The BB has only 33k left after an 8k BB. Flop comes JcJd5c, and I check again hoping he will shove, and he duly does. I call quickly and he turns Tc6c for the flush draw. no messing about and both turn and river are clubs, and I have none. Damn. Five minutes later I raise from the button to 22k with Kh6s. SB calls, and BB folds after a big think. Flop comes Ks8h7h. SB checks and I shove for more than he has. He thinks and calls with Jd9d. WTF? The inevitable T for the middle pin only out fell on the river. Next hand I have 1/4 of my stack in on the BB so I get the rest in and lose. FFS. Ticket there for the taking and I get done twice to got out 3rd for €500 at 5.30 am and work in the morning. I was so gutted.

Tourney 7: €60 with 1 rebuy for €50. Scalps.
I decided to get back on the horse and play another tourney straight away as cash games were very up and down for me with no consistency. I used all my patience in this game and once I got a couple of double ups from an aggressive player I was flying. I got to the final table with no real drama, and was about 5thin chips with a big chip leader, Dave Finnegan. I mad one 'leave my blinds alone' play with A4o which I checked , but bet a flop of 833. Button, who had limped, minraised to 6k. I instantly shoved when it got back to me, and he folded after a think. I showed (a rarity) and he quieted down a bit after that it seemed, but considering that everyone else at the table (bar one) fell to Daves monster stack within half an hour, it was hard to tell anything really. I got headsup somehow with 31k vs around 350k, so slightly outchipped. Dave seemed reluctant to double me up so it was cagey for a few minutes but then I did double up. I snapped off a few raises and bet flops a few times, and then got up to around 100k, when I got lucky to double up again with T8 vs K3 on a KT6 flop. a T on the turn sealed that deal. At this point we decided to chop it for a few reasons. It may not have been in my best interests but I was happy enough at that point with 1300 and we played a blind Omaha hand for the end of moneth ticket included in the prize. I of course won that as well, so not a bad night all in all. I only got 2 scalps though including one in the first 5 mins from someone who didn't rebuy, so a strange tourney really.

It has been an unusual run for me with some very consistent results, punctuated by some erratic cash results. I will try another couple of times to qualify for the IO, and I have no other real plans for the near future at this point, I guess I will just see what happens.

A very serious update for you there I know, but listening to commentary of the Liverpool FA cup match, it is hard to be lighthearted.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I have just realised something I should have known for a long time.

Poker for me is like football for Liverpool.

Pretty bold statement you might say, but I'll explain. It is very frustrating being a Liverpool fan, but I persevere. It is very frustrating playing poker, but I persevere. False hope is another thing in common. Just when I think things are going to turn around, and this could be my year, I have a disastrous sequence of events. This is a familiar scenario to any Liverpool fan as well. I regularly play against opponents I deem to be inferior to myself in the poker department (call it false conceitedness if you will) but I consistently struggle. Liverpool are the epitomy of struggling against so called inferior opponents. I regularly struggle against opponents I deem to be fairly equal or superior to myself, and that compares similarly to Liverpools record against the Utd's, Arsenals and Chelseas of the world.

Sadly though I don't have a good European record to console myself with.

OK, enough of that. Time for a mini review of 2007.

Tournaments - terrible. In the latter part of the year I played less and less of them but overall I had a dismal record for 2007.

Cash - Mixed. I had some good days and some bad days, and had a relatively small profit in these over the year, but not near as much as I would have liked. Still not good enough.

Online - Not worth mentioning. Terrible effort to start playing regularly online and a dismal failure in terms of hands played and effort expended.

Overall I had a loss than was nearly as big as my profit for 2006 so I was very underwhelmed overall with my year pokerwise.


I am not going to make any brash predictions for 2008. If I happen to qualify for any big events then great, but I am probably not going to put a huge amount of effort into qualifying as they will mostly just cost me money that would be better spent elsewhere. I intend to play very few of the regular weekly tournies around Dublin, but will hopefully play one or 2 events a month on average around the 200-300 mark. This is obviously dependent on how my cash games are running, but I hope that overall I can be less reckless than I have been in the past in certain regards. I am going to try to concentrate on playing smarter, not more often. I have also had an encouraging start to the year online, but since I am currently playing mostly 1/2 PLO underrolled, it could go pear shaped soon and pretty much kill my online interest.

The pipedream as regards online would be to keep plugging away for a few months, get to a point where I am bankrolled for 2/4 and be able to play there and withdraw any winnings above a certain level. However, since I am quite severly underrolled for the game the likelyhood of a few bad sessions, which is extremely possible, mean that it could be squashed fairly quickly. There are early encouraging early signs though. Over the first 1000 hands on my new db (yes, I know, very few) I am running at just over 28ptbb/100 at a combination of 1/2 and .50/1 on UltimateBet. If I could keep that up it would be a doddle, but somehow I can't imagine it will be anything like this over even the first 5k hands, never mind anything serious. I am also only playing about 8 or 9 hours a week at this point an 2/3 tables at a time, far from serious and dedicated as you can see, but it is a start.

If this starts to take off or fails dismally or even just peters out, I will say it here. One thing I can guarantee though is that it will be underwhelming.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back on the horse

OK, I nearly kept my promise. I said on Sat 10th, that I would not play til Sat 17th, and the cash league final. However, Friday 16th was payday, and while I did not need payday to have the money to play (I am not that broke yet!!!), it was a good excuse so off to the Omaha I went.

Several hours later, and including losing a €500 pot with AAJ6ss against KKT9ss all in preflop when it was obvious I had AA when the board came KKJA8 - sick - I still won €475 for the night, so not too bad.

On Saturday then, I went down for the league final at 6pm in the Fitz. The prizepool was €32k +€5k added by the club, so with only 97 qualified players, 67 turning up, and 27 paid, it promised to be a lucrative tournament since I was starting with 21,800 chips for my 218 hours.

However, the promise turned to dismay fairly quickly when the structure became obvious. This was put in place apparantly by a lot of the older crowd saying they hoped it didn't go on too late. In my opinion this is a load of bollocks, and if they didn't like a good structure they should stay at home. I am not saying it should be 45 min clock, repeated levels etc by any means, but a 25 min clock with no levelsw skipped would have sufficed, but 20 mins for the first 5 levels, with 2 levels skipped, reduced the level of play quite severly I think. At the break a few of us had a word with Denise who then changed the clock to 30 mins from then on, as opposed to playing 2 more 20 min levels. It helped a bit, but my cards did not, and losing several races later (or same difference, mid pair with 3 overs on the flop, and being shown top pair when I folded and similar) I was out in 30th, only 3 from the money.

Ah well. The Omaha cash games started off a little later, and I spun my initial €200 into €1800 for a very profitable night, and that helped alleviate the disappointment of earlier somewhat. I have played a couple of times since as well with a breakeven night and a -€300 night. So much for taking it easy!!!!

The Waterford Winter Festival was on last weekend as well and I am a bit disappointed I wasn't there, although it was totally my own decision due to running-and-playing-badedness. By all accounts it was a fantastically structured and run tournament, and I really hope to get down to the next one of these in March, just after the Irish Open.

Also, the SE has their €1k event this coming weekend, but unfortunately I will be away. Otherwise I would definitely have played a Satellite or two for this, but sadly, there is not much point as I won't be around to play it. I haven't been to the SE in a while, as I am playing less tournaments than I have done, but I must not leave it too long before the next time.

That's all the non intrigue I have for you this time. Another update will be along no sooner than a week, and no later than 3 months.

Quick Edit: Those of you with eyes at least mouse sharp will have noticed that I have chnged my template and finally added a few links. I intend to find where that mysterious new burst of energy came from, but given the fact that it soon disappeared, I may have a problem locating the energy to perform this investigation. Not quite a catch 22, but it is at leat a catch 18 difficulty. Hmmm, ah well.

Oh, I also got my DVR station for my new toy, my Archos 605, so I must go an play with that. I also got a 500GB external hard drive delivered to me as well. Yes, I am a bit of a geek really, what of it? You got a problem with that, punk?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another Moan

Right, I am now officially sick of poker. I am not going to trouble my 5 occasional visitors with bad beat stories or I'll get a new nickname.

This year has been by far my most difficult in poker. The last 12 months has been a constant downswing with only a couple of bright spots in between. Everything I think I know about poker seems to fly in the face of what I constantly see at tables nowadays and to be honest it is really breaking my spirit. I enjoy the banter, competition and thinking that is involved in the game but it is years like this that make me realise what a hard way it is to make a few bucks. I have been playing well in patches, but overall I would rate my play as worse in tourneys especially than last year, although that may be results based thinking.

For the next couple of weeks at least I will be taking it easy pokerwise. I have a few external expenses as well so that doesn't help. Until I have a result of sorts though I will try to be strict enough about how much of my salary I 'invest' in poker. I will still be playing now and then, I am far too ill not to, but apart from the Fitz league final on Nov 17th, where I will start with around a 22k stack (in the top 15 I must admit), I have no plans to play, although I might cave in and play the 100 FO in CHL's on Friday (payday coincidentally).

I even turned down an offer to be sponsored into the 300 Omaha event in the Fitz on Monday, but as I said "I couldn't do that you you". I am generally an amiable, happy enough person who enjoys a good moan (somewhat paradoxically), but this is stretching me in a poker sense. I think a while playing less might do me good. On the upside, I might bother to play a bit more online which I have been neglecting even more than usual despite good intentions.

Ah well. As the chief would say, "That's poker".

Monday, August 13, 2007

More random things

Since my last update there hasn't been a lot of action of note. I was in Vegas the last time I updated so I might as well update the rest of that.

As far as poker went, I played a $500+40 game at the Wynn on the Friday before I left, and it was a very good structure at the start, but once they decided to skip a couple of levels in the mid portion, it became quite crapshooty and despite a triple up at one stage, circumstances conspired to leave me trying to create a stack aggressively rather than being able to play a more patient game. Obviously this didn't work a treat and I finished 21st from 69 runners. I played a few more cash sessions before I left as well in Bally's and finished with a few winning sessions. The last one there was truly remarkable for the presence of one Romanian guy who dropped about $2500 in about 90 mins, and this in a capped game where he bought in for either $200 or $300 each time. I managed to get his stack one of those times, but I wasn't really prepared for his maniacal style so probably didn't get as much value as I should have out of him.

I went shopping as well the last day before I came home and it was really cheap. I am not one for shopping as those of you that know me might have guessed, but I managed to get loads of good stuff for feck all, including a new bag to carry the overflow in.

Back on the wet sod again and hopes were raised with a €1k profit in my first cash session back in the Fitz. Happy days. Overall since then things have been going better, although there were the few inevitable setbacks in there. The last few days though have provided the first time this year I have had 4 winning sessions in a row, and one of them from a hole so that was more satisfying almost. I was even playing the Holdem cash game in the Fitz last night as there was no €50 Omaha game. I know that I knew the standard was horrific in there, but last night was a real eye opener for me. An example of a hand like this is where someone limps for 2 and then calls a second raise to €55 preflop of an all in, and shoves all in for 120 or so on a flop of KJ5 (2 clubs). Turn and river were both Q's including the Q clubs. The all in preflop guy turns over AQ, and the other guy who went all in on the flop? 42c naturally to take it down, down to Chinatown. I admit I caught a few decent hands, but I did get dogged as well as few times. I made €500 profit for about 4 hours play, and this was playing pretty much rock like. I don't know if there is enough there to convince me to play more HE cash games, but you never know. One of the main things stopping me from doing this is the presence of a few particularly annoying people at the tables.

One option to get around this might be to play more in the new casino about to open in the premises of the former Merrion Casino. This is to be called 'Cool Hand Lukes' and the poker side is to be run by Luke Ivory, formerly of the Fitz. It is opening this Friday and looks to have a good tournie schedule, but with a couple of issues that I won't go into here. I will head along on Friday to the opening anyhow, and there should be a big crowd there with plenty of familiar faces from among the staff and customers with at least 9 of the dealers from the Fitz leaving to work in there, and that's only the ones that I know of. I will definitely still frequent the Fitz as well though, and I suppose the balance of custom will ultimately decide where I play the majority of my cash games. The Fitz have a cash league running now since the start of August until the end of September. If you get more than 30 hours accumulated you qualify for the tourney in October sometime with a guaranteed prizepool of €25k. I think I have about 26 hours accumulated already, so at this rate I will have a good starting stack, but sure we'll see.

On another note I have recently been watching Heroes a few episodes at a time and I am at episode 16 now I think, so I'll be finished in a few days. It is a good, compulsive viewing type series. It is obviosuly a bit fantastical, but there are a few good subtle humour moments in it as well, such as the time Goerge Takei (Sulu from the original Star Trek) appears in one episode and drives off in a car with a licence plate of NCC 1701. Yes, I am a nerd, so what. You wanna fight?

I am also trying to decide when I will take a few sickies from work. It will have to be well timed I reckon, as I have no days off to play with before the end of the year. My current thinking is 10-12 Sep, but the last time I planned to take a sickie I got sick, so maybe justice was served. Also, I am a notorious bottler when it comes to taking sickies, and just get up defeated by life and grumble my way through work.

Aaaanyways, back to poker. There are a few things coming up in the next few months, but I am not sure how many of them I will play. I am a bit hacked off by tournament poker lately. There is a mini festival coming up in the SE in a few weeks time, and the main event is a €500 game. I would like to play in this, but I am not forking out €500 quid for it the way I am playing in tournies at the minute. I will play some sats for it though, and might even start tomorrow night when there is a €50 with 1 rebuy game on for it. We'll see. Also in the pipeline is Big Slicks Winter festival. The main event in this is a €500 game with a tasty structure, but again it is one I am unlikely to play in, although of the events slated for the rest of the year in that price bracket, it seems to have the best structure.

The Fitz have also released details on their website of their 17 day festival in November. The timings and some of the events in total don't make sense to me. For example, the main event in this is a €1500 event. However, some genius decided this should take place on a Monday-Wednesday with start times of 6pm, 6pm and 4pm. This is not exactly conducive to local players who want to take part in this. Also, there is a seniors event, a ladies event, and a media event. WTF? I don't know who did up this schedule, but it is a tad ambitious I think, as well as poorly planned, and not just because of the main event issue above. Hopefully there will be change before then. As part of this as well, the World Faceup Holdem Championship takes place. It is an interesting concept I think, but will probably result in lots of coinflips and allins preflop. It will be a bit of fun but at €100 with 1 rebuy it is not something to have no regard for.

Good luck for now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vegas Part 1

OK, Ive been in Vegas for around 9-10 days now so time for an update. I have been playing mostly 1/2 in Bally's where I am staying but have ventured to Ceasers for the 1/3 and played a couple of the 550 supersats for the main event.

After a dodgy first days play that culminated in getting it all in on a J high flop with AA vs a flopped set of 4's things improved. I had 3 winning sessions in a row for a total of around 1100, including flopping a straight flush, and straddling for 4 another time, raising to 24 with AA when there were 6 limpers, 4 of whom called my raise. I bet 100 on a T33 board and got raised by the big tank at the table which I called to ses JJ and I hold up. So far so good.

I played 2 500+50 megasats as well, and they were crapshooty as hell. I last under 3 levels in the first one and TJ Cloutier was at my table for a time in this. In the second one I go deeper and with about 70 players left, 16 tickets the following happens. I am BB with 14k (about avg at the 500/1000/100 level) and with blinds about to go up to 800/1600/200. UTG+1 raises to 3k and it is folded back to me. This guy has just lost the hand before and seemed a bit upset about it. Irrespective of that I think it is fairly standard for me to push here with my TT and he instacalls with AQ. The final board of AA3A8 wasn't really what I was hoping for and that was my main event ambitions gone.

Since then I can't do anything right. Here is what has happened in the 3 sessions since.

1. Ballys
a. I flop a straight with A2 from the blinds. My bet was raised on the flop, and all the money goes in on the J on the turn. Of course the river is also a J and his 55 wins.
b. I raise a straddler with AQd, he calls and board comes JdJxTd. Check check. Turn 6d. He checks, I bet he raises, I call. River is another 6 and he value bets. Horrible card. I fold, he shows J.
c. I complete from SB with 44 with a few limpers and check raise a flop of A54 (2 diamonds). I get reraised by UTG and I set him in. He has limped UTG with 23 and I get no help on turn or river.

2. Ceasers - Game is playing maniacally but with a few shorties.
a. I run KK into AA. 100 gone.
b. I run set into set. 100 gone.
c. I raise call short idiots all in. He has KTo, I have 88 which doesn't hold up.
d. In a raised 3 handed pot I flop top 2 pair on an AdTd9x board. Idiot bets 15, I raise to 45, he calls. Turn is a Qx. He checks, I bet 70, he shoves for 120 whcih I call. River Qx is no help to me as he filled his gutshot on the turn. Nice hand sir. Both main maniacs have left at this point so I leave too.

3. Ballys.
a. I reraise from SB to 45 with QQ. BB shoves for 85 which I have to call and she hits an unnecessary A on the river to trip up.
b. I flop top 2 pair on a JT4 board and money goes in etc etc. He fills up his house on the turn when a 4 hits, so his J4 is good.

I am so pissed off with poker. There are a few hands I haven't played well, probably including a couple of the above, but overall I am playing ok, and considering the monkeys that populate most of the games here I am disgusted that I am down overall even taking out the sats (only about 500, but still).

I haven't played any of the tournies here though apart from the sats, but there is a good one in the Wynn from Tues-Fri which I only found out about last weekend. It is a 300+30 game with an excellent structure so I will play that Friday if I can force myself out of bed for the noon start time. There are also some okish structure ones in Ceasers that I will play before I leave as well, so hopefully I will report on them before too long.

On the non poker side there is not much to report really, and even if there was the juicy bits would be censored. The night of Mike Laceys birthdays was a good one and after a night at the Tilted Kilt, Voodoo and the Hooker Bar in the Rio, part of which was spent blatering to Andy Bloch I managed to get home for around 6.30am, so not that late, even though I did play the 10am sat the morning before so I was well tired. I haven't really ventured out much during the day as it is searingly hot. It reached 120F a couple of days I think so AC is fine with me. I had a couple of other excursions out into the night, but nothing too wild or wonderful. Also, to walk from Ballys down to the MGM, across and into NY,NY, into Bellagio, then Ceasers, down to the Frontier, across to Wynn, up to the Venetian and then back to Ballys takes a surprisingly long time. Three hours to be exact. I know it was 10.30 when I started, but it was still over 100F, so not the brightest idea I have ever had.

Thats the lot for now. One good thing I can report on is that I am getting a good bit of sleep every night, but those damn housekeeping wenches better stop annoying me, and someone stole the do not disturb sign, the bastards, so they do disturb.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bright Light City

Ok, I am off to Vegas next Monday. I went into the bank today to collect a chunk of $$$, so I have a starting allowance for there anyways and I'll see how that goes.

I am really looking forward to it. I think the change in location if nothing else will do my game the power of good to be honest. I haven't played much since the last entry here, once in the Se in a round of each tournie in which I finished 4th after playing pretty well but it dragged on and the inevitable lack of patience and extra tiredness surfaced around 3.30am. The only other time I have played live was in the Fitz scalps, and I was gone before the break in a dramatic departure from tradition there. I plaed some cash afterwards like a bit of a donkey. I should have stayed in the holdem game but it was boring me somewhat I have to admit. Ah well, never mind.

I have no real plans for what I am going to do in Vegas, I think the best plan is to wing it and see what the guys who have been out there for a while say. Chances are I will paly a supersat for the main event, and assuming failure in that, just stick to cash mostly with a few of the smaller tournies around the place thrown in, all things being equal.

Once this is over, assuming I am still alive and solvent, thoughts will turn to the rest of the year pokerwise. There will be a few festivals later in the year I would like to play, but chances are I will have to restrict myself. I will play in the Poker Ireland event which hopes to get 1000 runners, and hopefully I will be able to play in the Big Slick event in Waterford in November as well. Beyond that I have no real idea what is happening, but I assume there will be some chances to qualify for the Dublin EPT event although the buyin has increased, and I assume GJP will be holding another 1k event. I may have to rob a bank to pay for this I reckon. Then again, I rob a bank every day practically since I get paid by one every month for my daily 'contributions'.

I have played online a wee bit lately as well and have been doing ok on UB Omaha, but I don't really play often enough to see much of a tangible benefit.

On a non poker note, I have been watching the first couple of series of "My Name is Earl" recently, and have to say that I really enjoy it. I only watched the first couple of episodes on a DVD that was there for some reason because I was bored, but I found myself watching 7 or 8 episodes a sitting. I definitely recommend it to anyone who isn't familiar with it. Although my 'cousin' can be slow in getting it to me, it is worth the wait.

Anyhoo, this'll probably be my last update before I post the Disney version of my trip.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Where do we go from here????

OK, some issues are distressing me somewhat.

Firstly, there is the matter of Luke Ivory parting company with the Fitz. I have no idea what happened, and I am not going to speculate about it either, beyond saying that it is not normal for someone to 'decide' to leave their job. Obviously something happened to trigger this and I am sad about this as the Fitz has been for a number of years my club of choice to go to, and one where I felt almost at home. Luke was a big part of that, and I don't think anyone can underestimate the impact of having someone as personable, likeable, and knowledgeable as the front man for your poker operations. It is a big loss for the Fitz, and I don't really know what it is going to look like in a few months without him there.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that it is extremely likely that Luke will be in another club in Dublin at some point in the near future, whether this is a new club or an existing one, and due to the nature of a good few of the old school regulars who seem nearly brand loyal, then it appears to me that their brand is Luke. This could have a big effect on the numbers attending the Fitz, and a further dilution of the alreday strained market is not really what I am hoping for.

The poker scene has developed in the last few years in Dublin, and whereas when I started playing in the Fitz, some 42 months ago, a €100 Freezeout was a big deal, and something to be aspired to almost, but not anymore. People have gotten fussier, more demanding, and expect lots from every tournament they play. If there is a new cardroom to develop out of this, then the 'more of the same' approach is not something that will be good for the game I think. Numbers have fallen off in recent times somewhat with the SE and the Jackpot competing with the Fitz as well as the pub games and home games that some people love to play. Luke is a great TD and a great guy, but from a selfish point of view I hope this doesn't make it more difficult to get a good game. Who knows what will happen to the Fitz's poker room, but I suspect that whoever is put in charge will try to keep things as they are. I hope that this does not affect the current staff too much either, as I don't really like change. One way or another I probably won't be in any time soon anyways, for reasons I will get into now.

Anyways, enough about that. I am off to Vegas on July 2nd, and I am looking forward to that, but there are a few things troubling me.

1. I have not won a seat in the main event of the WSOP.
2. I have not tried to win a seat in the main event of the WSOP.
3. I am on a terrible run lately, so my funds are somewhat dwindling.
4. I may not be able to have as much fun over there as I had hoped.

All in all though I am still going to enjoy it as much as I can, and if things are going badly over there at the start I will just have to be cleverer about it and spend my money in a more targeted fashion.

This is not a fact that I am proud of overall, but I have been keeping detailed records of my live play for 23 months. In the first 16 months I had 12 winning, and 4 losing months. In the last 7 months (including this month) they have all been losing months for me. There have still been a few high points, like qualifying for the Irish Open, and some decent cash results, but almost universally my tournament game sucks (to use an Americanism). I won't embarrass myself with any further stats, but I don't know what way to take this? Is this a downswing? Was I experiencing positive variance before and now it is evening itself out? It is a very depressing issue and one that will be keeping me out of the cardrooms for a few weeks (I might visit once, for a €50 tournie or something though). It is helping that for the next 2 weekends I have to go away, so that temptation is removed, but it won't help me overcome my problems.

Is the game changing and I am not keeping up? Is it just a prolonged spell of bad variance combined with the poorer play that goes along with such runs? I know several others on bad runs as well, and from reading blogs I know it is a common thing. Poker does seem to go on streaks to a certain extent. I do not know why this is, as cards have no memory, and there should be no reasons for clustering like this. The one issue though that does lead to this, and it is often the hardest one to spot, is how you are palying. Even a small change in your game subconsciously can affect the outcome of a couple of key hands, and this may lead to a knock in confidence, which in turn leads to more subconscious errors. However, I am really trying hard to eradicate this type of crap from my game, but it does not seem to be working. What I would like to know though, is why it rarely seems to happen to me that my AA get into a situation where I am up against KK. but the other way around seems to happen with far more regularity?

It is a conspiracy I tells ya.

I really must try though to qualify for the WSOP. What I will do I think is try to play in the Stars, and FT supersatellities where they are guaranteeing 150 and 100 seats respectively. It will be a big ask to get one of these seats as there will likely be around 7000 in the stars one, and around 2500 in the FT game, so plenty of luck and concentration will be needed. the problem with this though is that they are on the 17th of June, and earlier that evening I am coming back from a stag party in Slovakia, so I might not be in tip top shape to be honest. Hopefully I can give it a shot though, and not be lazy about it.

Roll on Vegas.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oh My!!!

Very exciting times recently, what with the drama of the Champions league and all. I have decided that I am going to have the most expensive week of my life in a few weeks.

1. Go to the Heineken cup final on May 20th. Tickets have been booked for a while so why not. I fly home on Monday, getting to Dublin at 16:45.
2. Go to the Champions league final in Athens. I have booked a package deal to go through Abbey Travel. The pain of the cost hurts, but I don't think I could justify to myself not going after not going last time. Pity it is at the far end of the continent again. Spain, France, Germany, Italy or the likes would have been much easier to access. Fly out at 04:00 on Tuesday (9 hours after landing from London), and back in Dublin at 18:00 on Thursday.
3. Playing the GJP main event in Drogheda on Friday. I have this paid for already, but may have to cancel this if things go badly at some point.

I hadn't played since last Thursday until last night. Last Thursday was a game I shouldn't really have played as I was not in the right frame of mind to be honest, but there you go. I exited early with KK vs AA, and palyed a cash game for a while, in which I had to reload, then was up money, and then left breaking exactly even. Could be worse I guess.

I am starting to fret over my finances for Vegas somewhat with the week detailed above coming in at probably over 4k when spending money is factored in, and since my year hasn't been great, so far at least, poker wise it is a bit of a stretch. Ah well, it's only money.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Stuff

I nearly had a very good weekend last weekend. But I didn't. It wasn't bad either, but I lost one big flip, and palyed another hand wrongly which led to me losing my €450 profit and €300 buyin in one hand in the 50 Omaha, which I really don't want to go into as I know how I played it wrongly and will learn from it. Damn you Laurence and damn me for my bad play that allowed you into the pot.

The flop I lost was in the scalps game in the Fitz on Friday, when I went out in 8th place in a pot for 1/3 of the chips in play. I had raised to 12k (2k/4k) UTG with AKs and Ronan, who covered, came over the top all in. I had 56k total, and the way this tournie was I didn't really consider folding before I called as the blinds were going up next hand to 2500/5k. Two spades on the flop gave me plenty of hope but I missed. Ah well, at least I made the final table. the cash hand from above happened about an hour later too, so double whammy. I was still only down a little over 200 for the night so not too bad.

Sunday I played in the €40 rebuy game. This hasn't been getting many numbers unfortunately, despite it being a decent enough game with plenty of chips in play, relative to other games anyways. A series of hands being cracked led to me going all in blind UTG the last hand before the break with 700 chips (50/100) which I won, and from there on I didn't look back and finished second. It was only for €500, but important for my tournie confidence, despite that game hardly being populated by world beaters.

I have also decided to play the GJP main event for €1k. I shouldn't really play this, but I have secured backers to the tune of 40%, and I also feel my game is a lot more focused and together than it has been recently, and I am looking forward to this game. I played well for the first half of day one the last time this was on, only to shit away 10k on a bluff soon after, and then find myself under a bit of pressure later, and going out on the second day with QQ vs JJ in a pot to get me back to over average. Hopefully this won't happen again. Also, I have played in 3 tournies that have 3 or more days designed for them and I have at least made day two each time, so I am hopeful of another fairly deep run. This game is on May 25th in Drogheda, and I can't wait now.

On a different note, the Fitz are making changes to their tournies for the better, as the Monday, Tuesday and Friday games are getting more chips and extended blind levels. This can only be good for the games and the Dublin scene as a whole, and bring the Fitz game broadly into line with the structures of the Sporting Emporium, which has had improved games for a while now. There are three main reasons why I don't play more in the Sporting Emporium, and these are:

1. Parking is a nightmare.
2. There is no food menu there.
3. There are rarely any Omaha cash games.

If these things change, or even numbers two and three as number one is unlikely to, then I would definitely consider going there more, as now I rarely go outside of their €200 game and their satellites, which I have a good record in too. Until then though I'll mostly stick with the Fitz, and even though I had decided not to, I will probably play the end of month game tonight. I was planning to get up early tomorrow in order to leave Dublin at 4, but I can delay that by a while and not get into work until 10, and that is sounding like a good idea to me at this point.

The Fitz also have 5 great Ladbrokes packages to give away this year for the WSOP, so I will probably play in a couple of those at least. Hopefully the next few months will be an exciting time, and one way or another I am looking forward to going to Vegas in July.

Friday, April 20, 2007


I have no idea what this post is going to be about at this point, probably a rant, a bad beat and a few complaints as usual!!!!

These posts are like buses it seems at present, except without the incumbent knackers and the piss of course.

At the moment I am mostly in anticapation of things to come, namely the Champions League semi finals when Liverpool can hopefully recreate what happened a couple of years ago, and also to my Vegas trip at the start of July. I have been playing a good bit more in the way of cash games lately and in general they have been going alright. I haven't had a substantial win but most of my wins have been in the 600-900 profit, so still good, especially since I am not generally the type of player to push it too much after I get into good profit like that.

I nearly had another good night last night in the Fitz €100 game but a 2 outer on a JT2r board when I held TT62, vs JTX2. All the money went in on the flop, so about a €1200 pot went south when one of the remaining two Jacks in the deck hit on fourth street. Ah well, not much can be done about it. And, yes, I know TT62 is a rubbish hand.

This weather is depressing me, not that it takes much to depress me when I am in work. Hot,cold, wet or dry, they all usually make me feel depressed in work. The good thing is that due to me forgetting about this post it is now Friday evening so I get to go in about 30 mins or so.

I will play the Fitz scalps game tonight and probably a cash game after my 14th place finish in that.

Also, I have been thinking about getting an Omaha book and I believe the one by Rolf Sltobloom is the one to read. I might check with my 'cousins' (force of habit) first, might actually resort to buying it!!!!

That's me for now, it helped pass a bit of my day anyways.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!!

It's been one year (and a few days, but who is counting) since this blog was born and probably serves as a microcosm of my life to date.

Early years: Willing to learn and enthusiastic.

Middle years: Some exciting developments make me optimistic for the future.

Later years: Laziness bites and I settle into a not very good rut.

Since my last post a fair bit has happened me pokerwise, but also very little movement paradoxically. I am generally playing less tournaments that I have been, and they are still not turning into a profitable venture for me. I did however manage to jambag my way into the Irish Open at pretty much the last hurdle in the SE. There were 125 runners and 10 tickets as it turned out. I started off pretty slowly but a few good hands after the break, including one (and only) pivotal dogging of someone when I pot committed myself to a raise with AT, and I pretty much cruised to a ticket in the end. I was really looking forward to this.

My Irish Open day started when I got up around 1pm on Good Friday (early for me on a day off), scraped the dirt off, consumed some nutrition, and drove into town. I got to the Burlington at around 3 o'clock, about an hour before scheduled start. When my seat assignment came up on screen I scanned it for any familiar faces or well known names. Blank on both counts, although I did recognise a couple of names vaguely.

I take my seat anyhow (seat 2) and the table isn't exactly the hardest table I have ever been at to be honest, with a coupld of loose raisers, a couple of absolute calling stations, a couple of donkeys and a couple of good players. All in all not too shabby. However, the 2 calling stations are proving to be problematic as I can't ever get them to move off the hand, and one had a tendency to call flop and turn bets and then hugely overbet the river. Sadly I couldn't catch anything to exploit the situation and the chips went elsewhere. I won a few hands at this table but was between 6k and 11k the whole time I was there. I was briefly moved to another table before that too was broken and not much changed for me there.

On my 3rd table things were a bit more interesting with several faces I knew and a couple I recognised. At this table I got up to my day 1 high of around 13.5k before falling back to an 8k stack overnight. Great. There were only 9 stacks lower than me remaining after day 1, and there were only 2 stacks in total at our table that were above average, so the situation was a bit desperate really.

On day 2 I briefly came back, and in the course of 25 mins I was all in 5 times.

33 vs K8o - 2nd hand of the day, my 33 was too strong for Vincent Melinns K8o.
AA vs 55 - My AA no match for a flopped set all in preflop. Win this I was up to 30k.
A8o vs A4s - Same muppet that had the 55 limp called my allin (next hand after AA) for 2/3rds of his stack. Split pot.
66 vs 44 vs J8s - Win this I am up to 30k also. J8 hits a flush, I win side pot.
J9s vs QQ - First hand I have gone in behind and I stay there. BB was not meant to have a hand that strong. Ah well, at least I went out with a bang.

I also played the Omaha rebuy event (€300) and rebought after the first hand. Action like this.

I am BB (25/50) with 89TT (diamonds). A couple of limpers, MP makes it 325. A couple of callers and I call also as do a couple more. 6 to the flop.

AdTh7d - middle set, open ender, diamonds. Preflop raiser checks, and next to act bets the pot (~2k). I am loving this flop so I move in and he quickly calls with AAxx. I miss and it is rebuy time. Oh well. I don't win a single hand and don't rebuy again, so I am out before the break. Great.

Cash games have been going somewhat better for me recently, with several wins in the region of €700 profit, but I just can't get a breakthrough in a tournament. Even when I am motoring along nicely I lose vital races, or get done in crucial pots. It is very frustrating to be honest.

Last night as well I played online for the first time in a few weeks, and it was all going well until I got stacked on 2 tables simultaneously. AK vs 88 on an AK6 flop when all the money went in. 8 on the turn. KKxx on a KQxr board on a 3 way all in on the flop when one gimp made a runner runner flush to go with his top 2 pair. This is the closest I have been to being on tilt in a long while but I managed to calm myself down a bit. I think I broke even, so with some bonus cleared and rakeback I made a marginal profit. Great. After that session I realised why I don't play NLHE cash games either live or online - I get bored or just play badly sometimes and generally lose. I haven't adapted to them as opposed to tournies.

I don't really have any poker plans for the immediate future to be honest. I would like to play in the GJP main event, but I can't be arsed to deposit money in another site to be honest, especially one with a decent deposit bonus that I know I am not going to clear. Maybe at some point in the future I will be in a better position, or more likely to clear it, but that time is not now. I may play one of the sats in the Jackpot, or maybe the SE or Fitz might have some for it as well.

I should really do what I have been promising myself as well and at least try to qualify for the WSOP in the summer since I am going to be there in 11 weeks. I hope I have enough dosh to be able to enjoy myself properly over there, as there are a few unexpected non poker related things happening now.

Bye for now, hopefully it won't be 2 months before my next update.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I've been running cold lately, so cold in fact that I think I may need a few of my appendages amputated due to frostbite. I wouldn't even think of posting how long it's been since I've had a decent result as that would cause extreme embarrassment.

I have as usual succumbed to my online apathy, and briefly roused myself from it yesterday to play an $80 sat to the Stars $650 sat for the WSOP. I decided that if I could make $80 in Omaha in 15 mins I would play it, otherwise I would leave it. Happily I won $81 after hitting a big flop that held up, and played it. However my reverie was short lived and I got nowhere near the ticket. Plenty of time left though to get into this Sundays game, and I might try to get into Saturdays $325 game before then too.

I am caught in 2 minds about the SE 200 game on Saturday. I really want to play it, but the way I have been running and playing, which probably counts for a good bit of the running bad thing, it would just be a waste of money. I really the thought of being dead money but lately that is all I seem to be. It is just as well that I am playing a lot less than I have been, so the financial impact is lesser than it has been in the past on similar bad runs.

What can I do about this? I know that I should try to concentrate on making as few mistakes as possible and things will come around. However, when I am playing lately I seem to be going against my instincts, playing too tight, and to top it off I am not really getting the cards either.

Yes, I know, that old chestnut. However, I have not been dealt AA in the whole of 2007 in hold'em. Fact. This is obviously not a prerequisite for winning hands, but the amount of sets I have hit are tiny. Even the hands I don't play miss. That is how it is. On the upside though, I get to write another whinge post.

I am going to New York in a couple of weeks so I am looking forward to that too, and until I get back poker will be limited, aside from maybe some WSOP sats. I am also looking forward to when the whole of the Tribeca network is transferred to the Playtech network. Although I have never played on their software, it looks far more like the interfaces that I am used to, and hopefully I will not be repulsed at the thought of using the software like I used to with the old Tribeca software.

Hopefully I will have something better to report in the next edition of "Dom - The Complaints And The Crying".

Bye now.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year Update

It's been very quiet so far for me this year. I have played live only a few times with no effect either way. It's lose a session win a session poker for me, and I have had no results in tournies so far.

I have been playing online somewhat more lately and have even started playing online MTT's a bit more too. I have played 3 and finished 12th out of 1200 in one for $130 profit (great) when $5.5k was for first, and 2 others where I finished about 250th from 1k runners. There is some awful play in these $10-$30 freezeouts, so getting into a decent position is not too hard, but avoiding the inevitable beats that follow is the thing that can make or break one of these games. I have played a decent amount of online Omaha lately too with some success. My PTBB is running at close to 8 now which is ok I think, but since I don't play a great volume of hands in general it is hard to see a tangible benefit from it at the levels I play at.

Part of my motivation for playing online is due to the fact that I have booked flights to go to Vegas during the WSOP this summer. I could not make it last year due to other financial committments so did not even try, and the year before I did not really try wither, whcih in hindsight is probably a good thing. I think however that now is a good time to bite the bullet on this as it is something that I have wanted to do for the last few years. My finances have settled down and even if I have a bad trip financially within the limits I set myself of course, I don't mind too much. Of course I am not going to go not caring if I lose, but if it happens it will not cause any financial difficulties for me. If I go over there and do very badly at the start in whatever I play in, then I will have to concentrate on the drinking and other aspects of Vegas, and wouldn't that be a terrible thing indeed.

Ideally what I would like to see happen is this.

1. Win a seat to the main event in the WSOP.
2. Make a decent return from online and live games over the next 6 months in order to provide myself with a proper bankroll to play some of the secent non WSOP games if I don't qualify for the main event, as well as cash games over there.

I travel on the 2nd July and return on the 17th (day of the final table, so I will probably have to change my plans to play in it.......). After looking at all the various travel options and nearly deciding to go with Virgin Atlantic which would have involved a nightly stay at Gatwick, I have decided togo with Aer Lingus to La, with a transfer a few hours later to LV, and I should arrive in LV around 7.30pm in time for a quick snooze, shower and time for a wander around the srtip. I had submitted my booking for Harrahs for 15 nights, but got an email a few hours later saying "There has been a problem with your booking. Please return to the website and resubmit it". I sent them back an email (no response so far, might have to ring) asking what the problem was, as I think it was probably due to the fact that my card is not US issued, and if so then resubmitting my application is hardly likely to fix that. It didn't seem to be an automated, no response mail, but I think the main thing I want to be sure of is that my credit card did not get charged regardless, although it said it didn't. I do not want to have the cost of 30 nights stay on my card, 15 is more than enough.

Edit: An update to say that I have booked into Bally's for 15 nights. It is a few quid dearer per night than Harrah's, but fuck it, I might as well push the boat out somewhat. I want to stay in as central a location as possible and you don't get much more central than that. It is connected to Paris via a walkway too and I hear there is a great buffet there too. I am so looking forward to this.

Assuming that I do not get that booking sent out I am still inclined to stay at Harrahs, but the Excalibur seems to be a bit cheaper, if a bit further up the strip, and seems to be more of a resort theme hotel, which I am not sure is a good thing or a bad thing. One way or another though, I am really looking forward to this, and hopefully once the big sites start the multi seat qualifiers for the ME I can start getting in amongst them. The big annoyance though is that I'll have to qualify into them too. I know Stars run a lot of double shoot outs, but I have not had much success in the (very) few shootout format tournies I have played. I may try my hand at them though.

So far this year my travel schedule looks something like this.

1. Jan 27th - Austria skiing for a week. Not a lot of snow yet though :(
2. Mar 13th - New York for 8 days.
3. May 19th - London for the weekend to go to the Heineken Cup Final.
4. Jun 22nd - Bratislave for a stag weekend.
5. Jul 2nd - Vegas for 15 days.

It's a hard life. I will probably be near broke come the end of July, but at least I will hopefully enjoy it.

Poker plans for the year include taking it as it comes, and that is pretty much about it. I have no real plans to play in any online qualifiers for the Irish Open as it would involve playing on Tribeca which is anathema (spelling corrected, I should have checked) to me. I may play some live qualifiers if there is likely to be a decent amount of seats up for grabs.

Anyways, that is me for now.

Happy flopping,


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yearly Review of Sorts

Hardly a comprehensive review of my year, but sure here is a bit of an attempt anyhow.


Live Cash Games: Definitely could do better. I mush prefer playing Omaha to Holdem cash games but I am barely better than breakeven in my stats which is disappointing really. From 100+ live sessions I am only about €2k in profit for the year (incl 1k loss in last 2 weeks).

Live Tournaments: I have played 150+ live tourneys this year, cashing in 44 of these, and 18 top 3 finishes. I have had a couple of good results, but overall I am disappointed with my year. I am €10k in profit for the year in tournaments.

Online Cash Games: I play mostly cash games when I play online, and mostly Omaha, although I am playing a little more NLHE lately. I don't take this seriously enough, and generally play at .50/1 which is the same as this time last year. Not good enough. I have got a rakeback deal though, but not crazy about the site for the reason that HH's are extremely hard to save for PT purposes.

Online Tournaments: I play very, very few of these and have had no real results in the few I have played.

Overall Grade: C

I have improved this year, especially in tournament play, I have no doubt about that, and I think in the main my tournament game is pretty good. I would give myself a B for tournaments, but only a D for cash games.

Next Year Ambitions

Well the obvious one is to do better!!! I think I will play less times live anyhow, as I have been palying a bit less the last few months. Also one thing I have been doing this year is playing in some of the smaller tournaments such as the rebuy ones in the Fitz, but not taking it seriously which is a serious leak in money over the course of a year, so next year I will either not play them or else play them properly. These games can be very profitable over the course of a year if taken seriously as they tend to be played by some pretty poor players.

My cash game play needs some looking at. I will try to identify where I need to be more aggressive, and when to let a hand go, but this is easier said than done I'm afraid. I will also try to start playing more online. I am never going to be one of the guys who 4 tables for 25 hours a week online, I enjoy live play too much for that to happen, and I also get bored somewhat easily online. I hope by the end of 2007 to be playing 2/4 within my online bankroll in both Holdem and Omaha, but I doubt I will achieve this aim unless I win an online tourney for a decent amount. Oh, and I must start playing some more online tourneys too.....

I think some realistic objectives are:

1. Attempt to make 10k profit in live tourneys.
2. Attempt to make 6k profit from live cash games.
3. Attempt to qualify for some big live tourneys, including WSOP and hopefully qualify for at least one.
4. Play more online and try to take it seriously.
5. Make a discernable profit online.

I doubt anything notable will happen between now and the end of the year but if it does I will update.

Happy stuff and Merry everything to any reading this by the way and I look forward to facing you next year again.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


No it's not an Austin Power reference, it is a reference to my fortunes over the last few days. Swingy to say the least.

Firstly though, Drogheda. I really enjoyed the tourney there and I lasted a couple of hours into the second day when I got it all in preflop with QQ vs JJ only for a J to spike on the flop. Ah well. I can't be arsed to write a full report, but I did post somewhat of a report in the thread on that was set up for reports. I played a cash game afterwards on Saturday and ended up almost 400, so not too bad.

The last few days though from Thursday-Sunday involved 4 tournaments and at least 7 cash tables. Thursday was the Fitz end of month, and a much improved structure with 6500 chips, no antes and 3x20 min, 5x30 min and the rest at 45 min levels meant there was far more play in it, but I think this only worked due to there bwing only 76 runners. I managed to finish 5th in this when my QQ (again) was beaten by Snowys 86, when I refused to lay them down on a 566 board. Ah well still 900 profit so not too bad.

Friday involved me coming in my usual range of positions (10-15) in the scalps game. I seem to do fine in this until it gets to crapshoot mode, so that maybe says something about it or me, I'm not sure. Cash game afterwards yielded a negative profit.

Saturday was the SE 200 game and this was a wierd experience as I got some great cards but didn't get paid on my big ones apart from a double up with QQ vs JJ (which held up this time). I had to lay down 88 on a 773 board and AQ on a QJ8x board which hurt my stack and then took a stand against Wes who had raised or pushed about 5 out the last 6 hands with TT. He called with AJs and hit a J on the river to knock me out. I had a disastrous time on the SE cash tables then to lose another 800, usually on the river, with one hand in particular when I flopped the nuts in Omaha and this was a perfect candidate of a hand where it is quite probably correct to lay down the current nuts. I got stuck in the hand though, and as a consequence got just plain stuck. Off to the Fitz with me then as any good sick player does, made all my losses back through some terrible Holdem players and some big Omaha hands, and then lost a bit of it back through plain gambling. Finished a bit down for the day but nowhere the 4 figure sum I was when I went to the Fitz. Phew.

Sunday I played a bit, but it wasn't very interesting, and I won a few quid, so I came out the right side of swingy by a total of a few hundred. Meh, not too bad.

We are getting near the end of the year and it is nearly time for reviews etc, and so far my records show 8 profitable months and 3 unprofitable ones from live play. Online I have no real idea, but there isn't much in it one way or another, that much I know. At the year end I might post some stats, but not sure if I want to. One thing I will say - November put a nice gloss on my year.

Between now and the year end there is the PPP Xmas Cracker and the Fitz 500, which I am not sure if I will play. Chances are I will play in one of them anyways, and there is much better value in the SE one with the added money and no reg fee.

If anyone has any money making ideas (other than win loads palying poker, not working out really) let me know, and I am not talking about the spam type comments that get posted on my blog. Some ideas I currently have are:

Write a book on my poker life:
A look at the life of an Irish poker messer. Follow him as he ignores bankroll rules, plays like an idiot, but still makes a small profit over time. Meet all the interesting characters that he interacts with over the poker tables, and watch him as he gets bored playing online. This will come about when a publisher reads this blog and discovers my hidden genius.

Realistic Likelyhood: .000001% chance. I wouldn't want to or couldn't be arsed to write it, and who in their right mind would read it? I can still dream that it would work though.

Appear on a reality TV show:
Well I have to be at least as entertaining as the idiots they actually put on it, don't I?

Realistic Likelyhood: Zero. Can you imagine? *shudder*

Win the lotto:
This is the easiest option effort wise.

Realistic Likelyhood: Unfortunately this is also the most unlikely at roughly 1 in 20 million or some such for every line I do, and about 4 times higher on the EuroMillions. It'd be great though.

Get a Rich Lady to take care of me:
Hmmm, this is very appealing, but since I struggle to get poor or normal income women, getting a very rich one to pamper me is very unlikely.

Start a Radio Station:
A mix of music, poker, news and random shite. This will be a big hit with the 20-34 year olds of a certain mental disposition.

Realistic Likelyhood: Actually this is very likely as I have been approached to do this. Oh, wait, no I haven't. Sorry.

Well that's all the random shit I have to say for now. Adios etc.

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